What is Permit-required Confined Space?
Confined Space Entry training can save lives. OSHA uses the term “permit-required confined space” (permit space) to describe a confined space that has one or more of the following characteristics:
- Contains, or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere
- Contains material that has the potential to engulf an entrant
- Has walls that converge inward or floors that slope downward and taper into a smaller area which could trap or asphyxiate an entrant
- Contains any other recognized safety or health hazard, such as unguarded machinery, exposed live wires, or heat stress.
Many workplaces contain areas that are considered “confined spaces”. While they may not be necessarily designed for people, they are large enough for workers to enter and perform certain jobs. A confined space also has limited or restricted means for entry or exit and is not designed for continuous occupancy. Confined spaces include, but are not limited to, tanks, vessels, silos, storage bins, hoppers, vaults, pits, manholes, tunnels, equipment housings, ductwork, pipelines, etc.
In certain scenarios, a confined space does not necessarily have to be a small space, or even difficult to enter. Such was a tragic case of a worker in Illinois
Why Confined Space Training is Important
A 48-year-old worker entered a tanker-trailer in Lemont to inspect it as part of an annual U.S. Department of Transportation requirement. While performing his duties, he was overcome from exposure to bleach and chlorine gas. The worker was found unconscious in the tanker-trailer, and he later died of his injuries.
OSHA investigation determined that his employer failed to identify and evaluate atmospheric hazards in the confined space. They also found that the employer failed to train workers on the confined space program, and ensure employees filled out a confined-space permit before entry into a confined space. OSHA also found the employer failed to equip the worker rescuing the unconscious employee with a retrieval system. The employer failed to implement its own procedures for summoning rescue and emergency services, and numerous other violations of its permit-required confined space regulations. The company was also cited for failing to provide fall protection to an employee working on top of tanker trailers. The employer was also citied for failing to provide training on fall hazards, respirators and hazard communication.
In total, OSHA cited two willful and 10 serious violations and proposed penalties of $326,306.
What can you do?
Training is available to prevent such tragic incidents. Sign up for a comprehensive 6-hour Confined Space Entry training with PDH STAR today and learn how to recognize, control and eliminate confined space hazards. Stay on top of your training and compliance, and avoid hefty fines and OSHA citations. Group and corporate discounts are available – please contact us to discuss your training options.